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Can Osteopathy help Fibromyalgia?

Can Osteopathy help Fibromyalgia?

If you've been referred to SoCo Therapies for your chronic pain, you may be asking yourself how can osteopathy help fibromyalgia symptoms? Well, gentle osteopathic treatment has been found to help relieve muscle pain and improve joint mobility alongside other benefits.

Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome, is a long-term condition that causes widespread body pain and can accompany memory, sleep, and mood problems. If you're one of the millions suffering from fibromyalgia, we want to assure you that there are ways to help alleviate the pain.

Our expert team at SoCo Therapies has the experience and the knowledge to help treat chronic (long-term) pain. We pride ourselves on our team's expertise and ability to help alleviate painful issues in patients. We know fibromyalgia is a complicated condition, but you can rely on us to help find a treatment plan that works for you.

Understanding Fibromyalgia

Research suggests that fibromyalgia may be a common condition, with many people suffering from it undetected. In the UK, Fibromyalgia is estimated to affect between 1.5 million to 2.9 million people.

It's a challenging condition to diagnose and can often be misdiagnosed by doctors. There is no specific test to diagnose it, and the symptoms are similar to various other conditions. As the syndrome becomes more widely understood, diagnoses are becoming more common.

People of all ages can be diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but it more commonly begins developing between the ages of 25 and 55, with women at a higher risk than men.

What Is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that causes aches and pains all over the body, fatigue, persistent tiredness, and problems sleeping (among other symptoms.) People who have fibromyalgia have a heightened sensitivity to pain and have also been found to be more sensitive to temperatures, noise, and bright lights.

Researchers think that fibromyalgia may be caused by an issue with how the brain and spinal cord interact with the body's central nervous system, causing painful and non-painful signals to be misinterpreted.

Much like other persistent pain conditions, people with fibromyalgia usually experience periods of flare-up, where symptoms become heightened. On "good days" (without flare-ups), people living with fibromyalgia are often able to go about their daily routine as usual.

The fact that the symptoms come and go can be one of the harshest factors impacting a person with fibromyalgia's mental health. It can be exhausting having to navigate living through periods of intense chronic pain and periods of feeling good.

How do people get Fibromyalgia?

Sadly, the exact causes of fibromyalgia are unclear. Scientists aren't 100% sure why some people develop fibromyalgia, which is why there isn't a blanket cure for the syndrome. All that can be done is to manage the symptoms as best as possible. As many things could cause the body's pain signals to become distorted, it's tough to narrow down the exact cause.

Experts think that there are several factors that might cause fibromyalgia to develop in a person. They have found what they believe may be triggered through their studies of the syndrome.

People with certain health conditions (arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Lupus) are more likely to have fibromyalgia. There is an increased risk of developing fibromyalgia after physical trauma, as it can often change how the brain processes pain and stress.

Studies have also linked long-term psychological issues with fibromyalgia. PTSD, mood disorders, anxiety and childhood abuse or neglect have all been linked with fibromyalgia. However, there's no concrete evidence that these specifically cause the condition.

There are biological factors linked to developing fibromyalgia. There is a risk of developing it from genes or genetic mutations- if a biological parent or sibling has fibromyalgia, you're more likely to develop it yourself.

The condition is also more prevalent in people that are suffering from obesity and who live sedentary lifestyles.

The most common symptoms of Fibromyalgia are:

  • Increased sensitivity to pain

  • Muscle pain and stiffness

  • Joint pain and stiffness

  • Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep

  • Fatigue

  • Face and jaw pain

  • Brain fog - difficulties when trying to concentrate or remember things

  • Headaches

  • Bowel and bladder control problems

  • Anxiety and depression

What is Osteopathy and Can It Help?

Osteopathy is a therapy that uses hands-on treatment techniques, including specific massage, to move and stretch a person's muscles and joints. It's an alternative pain treatment based on the principle that the structure and function of the body are interrelated - all the body's bones, tendons, muscles, and ligaments need to work together for the body to function smoothly.

Osteopaths are highly trained allied health professionals that the NHS recognises. They study for four years at university to be able to diagnose health conditions and learn to alleviate them. They have a wide variety of techniques at their disposal and can refer you for further medical tests if needed.

Osteopathy works to improve symptoms of bone, muscle and joint conditions through physical therapy and focuses on treating the underlying physical and mental problems rather than just the pain.

An osteopath can help to ease many of fibromyalgia symptoms, particularly fatigue, muscle pain, and chronic headaches.

Techniques Used in Osteopathy

Depending on the patient and the symptoms they're experiencing, the osteopath may employ a multitude of different techniques:

  • Soft tissue techniques - massage or stretching technique utilising direct pressure to relax muscles that are hypertonic (too tight)

  • Dry needling - a form of acupuncture

  • Articulations - moving joints through their natural range of motion

  • Cranial therapy - a light and gentle technique that relaxes the head and neck and helps improve mobility, although this isn’t something we practice at SoCco Therapies.

  • Manipulations - small quick movements of the joints

  • Inhibitions - deep pressure technique used to release muscle tension

No two people are the same, so some osteopathic treatments may not work for you. Our practitioners will follow your body's guidance and try a combination of techniques to help alleviate your pain.

Benefits of Osteopathy for Fibromyalgia

People with fibromyalgia who seek help from an osteopath may experience the following benefits:

  • Increased joint mobility

  • Reduced joint pain

  • Released muscle tension

  • Reduced stiffness

  • Reduced pain overall

  • Help with any sleep disturbances

  • Improved mental health

  • Improved quality of life

Discover a Holistic Approach to Fibromyalgia Treatment with SoCo Therapies

At SoCo Therapies, our team of experts have years of experience and up-to-date knowledge of proven fibromyalgia treatments. We work with patients from all walks of the community and love that we can make a difference in people's lives.

If you're suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome, we'll be able to work with you to find a tailored treatment plan to help alleviate your symptoms. Don't hesitate, contact us at or via phone on 01202 422000 to arrange a free 15-minute consultation now!

We're committed to looking after our patients and providing them with the best service possible. Here at SoCo Therapies, we aim for long-term recuperation, not just a quick fix. In many cases, we suggest you follow various exercises at home to help aid or maintain your recovery.

We're always honest with our patients - if it doesn't look like there has been enough improvement during your treatment, we'll tell you the truth and advise you on what to do next.

As one of the few practices that factor in the relationship between your mental and physical health, we're leading the way in how people view healthcare! We're based in Bournemouth and offer our expert care to people from all over the surrounding areas.

Final thoughts

Living while battling fibromyalgia symptoms can be overwhelming, both physically and mentally. Though the causes of fibromyalgia are unknown, the treatments have progressed to a point where people afflicted with the condition have a large variety at hand to manage their symptoms.

If you're having good and bad days suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome, SoCo Therapies can help. We will create a treatment plan for you to ensure your symptoms are managed as best they can be.

Our osteopaths are experts at dealing with persistent pain and know many treatments used to alleviate Fibromyalgia symptoms successfully. We can help ease joint or muscle pain, and our hands-on techniques can help improve mobility and reduce swelling.

Contact us on 01202 422000 or email us at to arrange a free 15-minute consultation now! We're dedicated to helping you find a clear route to a pain-free life.


Osteopath or Chiropractor for Fibromyalgia?

As fibromyalgia affects the musculoskeletal system, we recommend visiting a practitioner who works with the entire body to relieve pain. Both our osteopaths and chiropractors at SoCo Therapies will work on muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments in their treatments.

A combination of different factors will often bring on flare-ups of fibromyalgia symptoms. Often hypertonic muscles and joint pain alongside stress lead to symptoms flaring up.

Osteopaths and chiropractors will work to diagnose and treat the cause of the pain, rather than just the symptoms. Our osteopath and founder, Jayde, did her Master’s dissertation on fibromyalgia, so has vast knowledge of the condition.

As fibromyalgia patients often respond better to slower release of muscles and may not respond so well to manipulations, these patients may find the longer session times with osteopathy beneficial. However, there are proven benefits to choosing both chiropractors and osteopaths, and we understand that what works for one person may not work for another.

That's why we work as a multidisciplinary team at SoCo, constantly learning from each other. Working as a team allows our practitioners to provide you with the best possible care with the highest success rates.

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